It was right around the 20-game mark last season that Sergei Bobrovsky began asserting himself as a dark horse candidate for the Vezina Trophy. The Flyers’ cast-off, newly installed as the No. 1 in Columbus, put together an impressive run that saw him allow just two goals over a four-game stretch, hinting at the fantastic finish to come.
And Bobrovsky wasn’t alone in establishing himself early. Eventual MVP Alex Ovechkin scored a hat trick in Game 17 to emerge from his early season drought. Jonathan Huberdeau earned Rookie of the Month honors on his way to capturing the Calder. P.K. Subban overcame a late start by scoring six points in his first six games to pave a path to the Norris Trophy.
No, NHL awards aren’t won in the first quarter of the season, but players who are hitting their marks at the quarter pole create a narrative that lingers with the voters.
With that in mind, here’s a look at the some of the players who have made a strong impression through the first 20 or so games of 2013-14, setting themselves up as the early favorites to take home the hardware next June.